National Points Series Round 1
Venue: Sherwood Forest
Position: 1st place.
After a good result 2 weeks previous (finishing second in the elite category behind Jody Crawforth at the Gorrick) I was confident I had good form.
The practice lap on Saturday surprised me slightly. The course was quite different to previous years with more singletrack and technical sections than usual. I really enjoyed the course however and thanks to the recent nice weather it was riding really well.
I lined up on the day on the front row of the grid, which was based on last year’s series positions. Still feeling confident I went for it as soon as the gun sounded. I could hear the commentator shouting that I was already opening a gap on the field in the main arena and this encouraged me to push on a bit more.
Heading out onto the lap and I kept applying pressure. Around the midway point on the circuit and I had opened out a fair gap. For the remainder of the lap I keep my head down in an attempt to build up my lead.
Coming into the arena my lead was approximately 20 secs unfortunately I managed to lose this margin and the lead by ploughing into the course tape whilst looking down at a mechanical issue on my bike.
I kept calm and got back onto Geoff Beetham wheel who had taken the opportunity to move into first place with both hands. I sat behind Geoff for a short while assessing the issue and composing myself.
I decided my only option was to attack again with a view of building up as much of a safety margin as possible.
The attack worked and once again I was off on my own. The remainder of the race flew by. Lapping at around 20 minutes the race was completed in just 1 hour and 20 minutes.
I crossed the line with a 44 second lead. My first national Masters race win.
I’m really happy with the result and can’t wait to ride the next round at Dalby Forest in just 4 weeks’ time.
Thanks to everyone was has helped and supported me.
All the best,
Whyte Racing UK
Saturday we were invited to the Torq MTB Team Launch and Photo Shoot in Powys.
It was the 1st time I had seen the Torq team bikes in the flesh and fully built up. The 20-C and 29-C they will be racing this year look amazing with the orange paintwork and carefully specced components, we especially love the orange Jagwire cables!
Many thanks to Matt Hart at Torq for inviting us along and good luck to the team for the 2012 season. They will be competing at the National and Regional series, plus Marathons, Bike Festivals and Multi-day events. The bikes are really going to stand out and we hope they enjoy riding them as much as we do.
Read more @
Many thanks to Joolze Dymond for the great image.
Gorrick Round 3
Position – 2nd place
It’s been a while since I have filed a race report…September last year was in fact the last time.
This race more than anything was to chance to prepare for the forthcoming first round of the National points series. I decided to push myself and enter the Elite/Expert race as opposed to Masters.
This was to be my first race on my new 20c. Despite practising a fair amount on the bike the real test of how a bike performs for me is only clear when you are racing. It is only under these intense conditions that the bike really shows its true colours and true to form the 20c didn’t disappoint. The bike’s geometry really inspired me with masses of confidence (good job considering my lack of racing!)
The race set off at a fierce pace splintering the field pretty quickly. I was sat in a lead group of 4 riders until I clipped a tree causing me to lose contact with the group…I then spent the next two laps chasing them down.
I regained contact on the third lap and shortly after the guys started to attack each other.
Jody Crawforth made the decisive move – unfortunately I was badly positioned when he attacked and was left following the wheels of the other guys in an attempt to chase him.
I managed to pick my way past the other two guys and then set off after Jody but I wasn’t to see him again.
I finished the race second. I must say I’m pleased with the result considering a couple of aspects firstly I was racing up a category and secondly it was my first race in a long while.
I’m now looking forward to turning the pedals in angry again at Round 1 of the nationals at Sherwood.
- Luke Smith, Whyte Racing.
Buy the latest issue of What Mountain Bike out now, to read all about the new Whyte 2012 range, including the 20c, 829er, 146 X and the Saxon Cross CX bike.
“Whyte’s new flagship trail bike ticks every box for technical XC riding.”
- What MTB.